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As the laptop turns - episode 11 >>>

GoToMyPC is horrible

Saturday,  05/14/05  08:50 AM

So GoToMyPC is horrible.  Not the product, which seems to work very well, but the company behind it, which seems to have no clue when it comes to customer service.

A couple of weeks ago I was experimenting with various approaches for remote customer support.  Aperio has customers all over the place, mostly behind firewalls on secure networks, and connecting to their machines so we can provide technical support has been an ongoing challenge.  Anyway one possible approach was to use GoToMyPC, which would enable our technical support people to go to a customer's computer.  The approach seemed to have some technical merit; I signed up for a "free" trial, conducted an experiment with a remote computer, verified that the approach worked, but ultimately decided there were other products which would fit our needs better.

Fast forward to this morning; I noticed an email which informed me that my credit card had been charged $20 for "GoToMyPC Personal Edition".  Apparently this is a monthly charge.  So much for the "free" trial, eh?  Can you say "bait and switch"?  Yes, I thought you could.

So I went to the GoToMyPC website and found their "24/7" customer support number.  I sat on hold for the [expected] 10 minute wait, and then was routed to an [unexpected] voicemail box, which informed me that customer support is available only certain hours on business days!  What!!  So much for "24/7", eh?  Can you say "horrible customer support"?  Yes, I thought you could.

So I left an appropriately angry message on their voicemail - I have no expectation of getting a call back - and I sent an appropriately angry email to their customer support address - I have no expectation of getting a reply back - and I'll have to call them during certain hours on business days, wait for 10 minutes, and then explain to an untrained kid support person what happened, and beg them to cancel my account and refund my $20.  All of which will cost me way more than $20.

What motivates this sort of horrible behavior?  Here we have a nice product which good technology, but which has somehow ended up in a not-nice company with a rotten approach to customers.  And this happens all the time; I'm sure you've seen it yourself, all too often.  Sigh.

[Update: I just received the following automated email:]

This is an automated response from the GoToMyPC Customer Care Center.  We received your email message on 5/14/2005 at 8:51:20 AM.  We are available to respond to messages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  If your message requires any follow up you will receive a personal response by email.  Messages are normally answered within two business days from the time received.

Stay tuned...

[Another Update: I just received the following email:]

This is to confirm that the following amount has been refunded to your credit card:

INVOICE #523044445-3
CREDIT: 1 PC Monthly purchased on May 13, 2005

I have to give them credit, that was a fast response on a Saturday.